Belkin LiveAction Camera Grip
Get a grip….
Geek Treat of the Week Hats off to Belkin for coming up with some really neat iOS-oriented gadgets just lately. Following on from its kitchen stands for the iPad, it has now come up with some handy little photographic accessories for the iPhone. The first one to arrive is the LiveAction Camera Grip, with an external microphone and remote control unit on the way as well.
The Camera Grip might seem unnecessary to anyone that just wants to point-and-shoot with their iPhone camera, but the thing I’ve noticed since getting an iPhone 4S is that the improved clarity of its new 8Mp camera still tends to be marred by the shakiness of my hands when I’m taking pictures. For me, it’s the act of tapping on the screen that always seems to shake the shot up.
The Grip clips onto your iDevice's dock port
The Camera Grip can help with that by providing a large chunky grip that helps to steady the iPhone, but it has a few other useful features too. The Camera Grip plugs into the dock connector on the iPhone 4/4S and the current iPod Touch.
The arms on the Camera Grip are spring loaded and flexible enough to accommodate most bumper cases, and it has its own control buttons for taking stills and recording video so that you can start shooting while still holding the Camera Grip nice and firmly. There’s also a tripod mount on the base of the Camera Grip, which will appeal to more serious photographers.
Belkin's LiveAction app taps into the Grip's controls
You need to download the Belkin LiveAction app for those control buttons to work, but you can then hold the iPhone nice and steady and shoot away without ever having to tap on the screen. The LiveAction app can switch between front and back cameras, and has its own flash controls and focus controls, as well as a five- or ten-second timer option that will come in handy if you’re using it with a tripod.
Even works with encased iPhones
The Camera Grip is a bit pricey - it's £45 - but I have found that it’s helped me with some of the product shots I need to take for reviews, and will earn its keep if you’re serious about using the iPhone as one of your main cameras. ®
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...have already mentioned the fact that iOS5 allows you to use the volume up button as a shutter buton, but even before that there was a slightly better way.
Simply put your finger on the on-screen shutter button, then release it when you are ready to take the shot, rather than tapping it and shaking the phone.
Fanbois probably have such sweaty little digits they need something "firm" with which to grip their little slabs.
What the fuck for? Seriously, it's a phone with a poxy little lens, sensor and, as far as I can tell, non-selectable ISO range. That kind of makes a tripod pointless as any lowlight shot will be chock full of noise if one is needed.
How about a decent flash?
I might just keep my compact point and shoot camera in the cupboard if Belkin would put a decent built-in flash in this grip.
...as far as the camera is concerned at least: The Sony Satio.
My ex had one when it first came out. For a week, until she lost it. The pictures from the 12Mp snapper were fantastic, and it had a proper Zenon flash too.
Shame the rest of the phone was utter rubbish though, including the shonky touch screen (it was resistive, but still awful!). Although it was pretty cool that you could output the phones screen to TV as well as any video playback.